Expert Reviews in Molecular Medicine:
Accession information: (99)00070-8h.htm (shortcode: tab001jfo); 8 June 1999
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A comparison of vectors in use for clinical gene transfer

Jeremy W. Fry and Kathryn J. Wood

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Table 1. A comparison of vectors in use for clinical gene transfer (tab001jfo)

Application for human use

Vector classification Ex
Expression Advantages Disadvantages
Recombinant Moloney murine leukaemia virus (MMLV; retrovirus) +++ ++ Stable No immune response against the viral vector; integrates Only low viral titres achieved; transduces only dividing cells
Recombinant lentivirus (retrovirus) + + Stable Transduces non-dividing cells; can target CD4+ T cells Potential safety risk
Recombinant adenovirus   +++ ++ Transient High viral titre; wide host-cell range Immunogenic; does not integrate; short-term transgene expression
Recombinant   adeno-associated virus +++ ++ Stable Little immunogenicity; integrates Lower transduction efficiency than adenovirus
Recombinant herpes simplex virus (HSV) ++ (research) ++ Not known Can target neuronal tissue Safety concerns
Recombinant vaccinia virus +/- +++ Transient Suitable for cancer gene therapy Safety concerns
Non viral
DNA-ligand conjugates - ++ Transient Cell-specific targeting  
Liposomes and virosomes ++ +++ Stable or transient Cell-specific targeting; efficient transfection  
Direct DNA injection - ++ Transient Simple Only short-term expression achieved
Ballistic delivery (gene gun) ++ (research) +/- Transient Simple Requires ‘exposed’ tissues or cells
Abbreviations used: ‘+++’ = major application; ‘++’ = some application; ‘+/-’ = limited application; ‘-’ = no application.

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